• This summer I decided to take a different approach to teaching the G9 English Language Arts class. A huge part of this was connected to the Creating Cultures of Thinking book by Ron Ritchhart I had read and am […]

  • One of the changes I have been making in my classes and as a EAL support teacher is putting more emphasis on the skills students need to learn. These are generally life-long tools students need to develop to […]

  • In my last blog I mentioned limiting teacher talk and as a result a colleague shared an interesting article on 4 Strategies to Model Literacy which also stresses the importance of limiting the amount of time […]

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  • One of the things I really like about SPELTAC is that blogging is a great way to reflect on one’s teaching. Another school year has started with new students and classes. One of my objectives during this […]

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  • After listening to Chimamanda Adichie’s Ted Talk (via SPELTAC Course 2) about the dangers of the single story, I was in awe of the power of this notion, how it can at the least hurt and the worst destroy a […]

  • Katie Lepak became a registered member 4 months, 3 weeks ago

  • As I have implemented a student centered inquiry approach into mathematics this academic year, I have been thinking about how to also better address mother tongue integration. English and Mongolian are the only […]

    • Hi Carina,
      I have a lot more language and cultural diversity in my class this year. So exciting to see them sharing key words in their mother tongues. Hope you are having a great year so far.

    • Hi Carina,
      With so much language diversity in our international classrooms, it just makes sense to tap into the mother tongues. My group this year is so enthusiastic about doing this in our units of inquiry, new vocabulary in their independent reading, and mathematics! Have a great year!

  • Since joining SPELTAC, I have been reflecting upon my practices as a teacher of language across the curriculum, as well as the language policy of my current school. Are we doing what is best for students’ English, […]

    • Thanks for this post Nicole. I plan to discuss this idea with my G3 class this week.

      • Hi Anita,
        I have even more diversity this year in my class. They are quite an enthusiastic bunch and are eager to share their learning in their home languages.Great for teaching appreciation. Have a great year with your kiddos!

  • Jess Kekelis became a registered member 6 months, 2 weeks ago

  • Key Thinking Objectives for a Thinking Curriculum

    Last year one of my professional growth goals was to promote and support the development of thinking skills and other transdisciplinary skills in my […]

  • Awawu Agboluaje became a registered member 6 months, 2 weeks ago

  • When I came across the term ‘Code-switching’ during my studies, I recall how it opened up the world for me, a space in which I could be ‘ok’ with not knowing right now. I grew up between multiple cultures and […]

  • As my grade 5 students navigate the PYP rite of passage of Exhibition, they continually reaffirm to me the power of belief in the self, goal setting, self reflection, and visible thinking routines. My students’ […]

    • Dear Nicole,
      Thanks for sharing your blog with the G5s and Visible Thinking routines. I always enjoy reading about how other teachers are experiencing using them and sharing this experience. It is amazing how these routines can help clarify and structure students thoughts. I have also noticed that once the routines become part of the classroom routines and ways of working students really start to benefit from them. It’s also nice to see the documentation of their thinking as I also have many similar pics of mindmaps and reflections. I find that looking at them later or sharing them with a colleague can help me get better insights of the students thinking and learning progress. Another interesting thing I noticed while I transformed to using more VT routines in my classes was that I started becoming more cautious on the language I used to explain, question and discuss with students. It’s all made made the learning more meaningful! Thanks, Niels

      • Hi Neils,
        I love the visible thinking routines–yes! I am taking a Maker-Centered course through Project Zero Harvard Graduate School of Education. Hope to get some practical ideas to put into place straight away! Have a great year.

        • Hi, that’s interesting, I am doing the Creating Cultures of Thinking course, just started…let me know how that course is… Went to a Makers spaces workshop last year and really liked the idea, but at my current school Admin is not to interested in it… unfortunately. There is a lot to be said for maker centered learning, but many think it is just project based hands on fun, at least that is the things I hear which I cannot be bothered to argue against as these people clearly haven’t done their homework! So enjoy it and write a Spectacular blog on it:)

          • Hi Neils,
            Yes, the maker centered ideals definitely work well in conjunction with the PYP. As the course goes along, I am realizing though that it all needs to be connected. I mean, the design cycle and what the students make must be something with a purpose, I think. Will get back to you later. Thanks for responding.







    In order to promote the personal and academic advancement of our students we give feedback. Thankfully there is much research on the complexities of this important aspect of teach […]

    • Hi Lisa. As I read your post today, I was reminded of how very important it is to keep feedback in face to face conferences as well as written commentary, simple and to the point. Less is more. Quality over quantity. Your thoughts also reminded me to keep my Exhibition check in meetings with each student as brief as possible–set the timer for 3 minutes! As I look through their online folders in Drive as well as their binders (journals) beforehand, I should emphasize one area of strength to encourage continued best practice. Thanks!

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